Trail Name: Red Canyon Loop
Best Use: Mountain Biking, Trail Running
Best Time for Use: Spring, Summer, Fall- avoid wet conditions.
Difficulty: Mountain Biking – Beginner to intermediate icon-beginnericon-intermediate
Length: 13.5 miles (21.8 km)from trailhead
Start Elevation: 4,800ft (1,463 m)
Maximum Elev Gain from Start Elev: 2309 ft (704 m)
Trail Surface and Use: Seasonally graded and lightly used 2-track
Trail Head Access: Suitable for 2WD auto. Cross the Dolores River just off Hwy 141 approx. 27 miles south of Gateway. Park on the opposite side from the highway.
Trail Head Coordinates: 689,938 E, 4,255,428 N UTM WGS84 Zone 13
Best Feature: The Red Canyon trail is also known as the Radium Trail because of all the uranium ore carried down from the mines that are in this area. The trail offers a relatively easy gradient as it climbs this visually stunning canyon. With a difficult but short hike a bike section near the top, riders will be rewarded with a grand vista of the entire Paradox Valley over 1,500 ft (457 m) below.
Caution: No water is available. The Red Canyon loop should be ridden when conditions are dry. All trails in the West End can become impassable if wet conditions are present.


Description: This trail can be ridden as an out and back or as a loop. For the out and back, follow the seasonally graded road upstream on the high bench above the Dolores River. After 1.5 miles (2.41 km) you’ll approach the mouth of Red Canyon. Follow the Paradox Trail signs as it heads up the canyon on an old two track trail. Red Canyon offers a fun descent back down so most riders will turn around at the gnarly hike a bike section at mile 5 (8.0 km).
For the loop, continue up the hike a bike where eventually you’ll be able to continue to ride. At mile 6 (9.7 km) is the grand overlook after topping out on Carpenter Ridge. The trail continues to climb topping out and following the edge of the ridge. At mile 7 (11.3 km) you’ll leave the Paradox Trail and head north on a short 1/2 mile (805 m) connector two track. Turn right on County Road Q13 and follow down Carpenter Flats staying on the main road and turning right at intersections. You’ll ride through an old mining area and be treated to views of Red Canyon from above eventually coming back down to the trailhead after 13.5 miles (21.8 km).